The 28th Cascade Festival of African Films


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Mon, 02/26/2018 - 8:00am to 9:00am
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Cecil and Celeste welcome Tracy Francis from The Cascade Festival of African Films.

The Cascade Festival of African Films shows us Africa through the eyes of Africans, rather than a vision of Africa packaged for Western viewers. The films celebrate Africa’s achievements, expose its failures, and reveal possibilities for a hopeful future. Although the films cannot represent an entire continent, they hope to encourage American viewers to become interested in and study African cultures.

The Cascade Festival of African Films is the longest running  annual, non-profit, non-commercial, largely volunteer-run African Film Festival in the United States.  It was founded in 1991 by four Portland Community College faculty members. Linda Elegant, English and writing instructor, served as the festival coordinator in the beginning years. Mary Holmström, a native of South Africa and African literature instructor at PCC Cascade from 1989-2001, served as the festival’s film programmer. Michael Dembrow, English and film studies instructor, wrote the festival’s renowned film notes. Joseph Smith-Buani, a native of Sierra Leone and math instructor, was the festival’s host.

  • Developing knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the richness, complexity and diversity of African peoples and their cultures;
  • Building community and encouraging open, honest dialogue by bringing people together to view African films, meet African filmmakers, participate in after-film discussions and debate issues of personal and global significance;
  • Encouraging inclusiveness and accessibility by offering the festival free of charge;
  • Creating an audience for African film in Portland, Oregon, and its environs;
  • Serving as a resource of information about African cinema;
  • Working with Portland Community College to build a library of African cinema for use by students, faculty, staff and the public;
  • Sharing our passion for and knowledge of Africa and African cultures through film.
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